We’re one day away from Machu Picchu at this point! We took a train from Cusco to Aguas Calientes and back. There are several ways to get to Aguas Calientes, which is at the base of Machu Picchu, but since we had a tight schedule we took the train. The train had windows on the sides and the ceiling so you could see all the different kinds of scenery. Our train ticket also included a free meal shown below. A few things we saw during our ride were people hiking on the Inca Trail, some ruins, lots of streams and mountains, and some wildlife. The vegetation also changed drastically the closer we got to Machu Picchu.
We made it to Aguas Calientes and headed to our hostel, Pirwa Hostels. My first impression of this little town was how touristy it is. A lot of the restaurants and stores accept US dollars (make sure the bills are in mint condition) and we could hear people speaking so many different languages as we walked around. Our first mission was to purchase our bus tickets for the bus to Machu Picchu that we’d ride the next day. We had to wait until after lunchtime to buy tickets for the next day, so we took some time walking around the market. It was very similar to the San Pedro Market in Cusco and the Pisac Market, except this market sold Machu Picchu souvenirs.
After we got our bus tickets, we set out for Putucusi Mountain. I had done some research before the trip and found you can hike/climb up this mountain to get a view of Machu Picchu from afar. I knew it would be challenging, but I didn’t know how challenging! As you can see in some of the pictures below, we had to climb up and down several ladders and many, many stairs. The biggest/tallest ladder we had to climb was actually missing some rungs. It was intimidating, but I felt really awesome having accomplished climbing it! All the effort and exercise was totally worth it when we made it to the top!
After our hike up and back down Putucusi Mountain, we were ready for dinner and sleep. We bought some pizzas and several liters of water in town, chowed down, and got ready for our early morning bus ride to Machu Picchu the next day! You can read all about Machu Picchu in my next post!!!
- Pirwa Hostels – We didn’t spend much time in the hostel, but I would stay there again. The staff was very helpful when I asked questions. The bathrooms could’ve been nicer, but it’s a hostel so I got what I expected.
- Putucusi Mountain – If you’re up for a hiking adventure, this is totally worth it! It took us about 1.5 to 2 hours to get to the top, but the view was incredible! I’d recommend wearing shorts (jeans weren’t cutting it!) and bring plenty of water! I had two regular sized water bottles and that wasn’t enough. Remember, you’re at a higher elevation so it’s harder to hike in general.